I spent most of today swerving through the thick of Colombo traffic. Missing motorcyclists and trishaw taxis by millimetres. All to the beats of YFM and squeals of terror from the passenger seats. Intellectually I know that the third word feudal chaos of Sri Lanka is strange and terrifying to those from the relative safety of the first world. I just can’t comprehend what that feels like.
Most of my generation grew up with check points, curfews, and bomb blasts. I saw race riots first hand. The seeming chaos on the road is my normal – the natural disorder of things. The right of way for example is something you have to size when the opportunity arises – or it will never be yours. Similar to a Viking raiding party plucking a plump English coastal village back in the “dark ages”. Even when living in first world countries, their lack of chaos was an indicator of a void.
So I want to know: what does Sri Lanka feel to non Sri Lankan eyes? For those of you with or without any sort of ancestral roots?
Its not an easy question to get your conscious mind around. But do give it a try. Interpret the question based on your experiences. Pump out a blog post and let us all know. Will it sound like Robert Knox or something?
Only one way to find out.